Room 4122 | 206-546-5872 | | Hours: Mon-Thurs 8-5, Fri 8-4:30

Monday, March 17, 2014

Computer Lab software updates coming!!!!

Computer Lab software updates coming!!!!

Please mark your calendars for updates coming to the Instructional Computer Labs.

Spring Quarter: 
  • Laptops with Windows 8.1; Office 2013
    • 4214 (Library Classroom)

Summer Quarter: 
  • Labs with Windows 8.1; Office 2013
    • 1302
    • 1308

Fall Quarter: 
  • Remaining Instructional Labs move to Windows 8.1; Office 2013
    • 1301
    • 1304
    • 1305
    • 1401
    • 4102
    • Library Reference

All Division labs will be updated as needed.

Please let TSS know if you have any questions.

Creating Simple Graphs

Put the graph paper and rulers away! Here are some links for how to create graphs that can easily be saved, printed, and embedded into reports.

How to create a simple graph in Excel
Excel is an excellent tool that will allow you to quickly create a chart. Use Excel especially if you want to have variety of chart types--bar, pie, line, scatter, and more. Add all the standard chart features like titles and axis labels so that the chart looks professional and presentable.

It has been years since I've used a graphing calculator, and I found Desmos to be a great alternative to trying to remember how to graph on a graphing calculator. It's simplicity is not restricting though--it seems to have all the same functionality of a complex graphing calculator.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Cleaner Browser Experience

To complement my post about removing unwanted toolbars from browsers, you can also clean up your viewing experience by installing Adblock Plus. Let's look at an example. I recently provided link to

Here is a snippet of what the website looks like without Adblock:

Here is a snippet of what the website looks like with Adblock:

There's some controversy over Adblock. Although Adblock might not be perfect, I prefer the second option which allows me to see the picture clearly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting Familiar with Windows 8.1

Change can be tough, but change keeps us moving forward. Across the Shoreline campus, faculty, staff, and students will start to see Windows 8.1 replacing older versions of Windows. For those of you who are hesitant about learning this new system, I understand because I was hesitant too. Take a deep breath, set aside time for a couple of tutorials, and soon enough, you won't even miss Windows 7.

Here are some links to help you familiarize yourself Windows 8.1:

How to Enable Boot to Desktop in Windows 8.1 - This trick will certainly take the edge off of learning Windows 8 by providing a little comfort in familiarity.

Become familiar with the new Start Menu - The new Start Menu is intended to make your life easier, but that's only true if you take the time to set it up. Learn to Pin Apps and Applications to the Start Menu.

Don't get confused by the Apps - "Apps" are a new concept that do not act like "Applications." Trust me, it pays to understand how they work whether you intend to use them or not. For one thing, there is an App and an Application for Internet Explorer and you might find yourself lost in the unfamiliar App.

Check out more of Microsoft tutorials

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Windows XP Must Go!

It's been a long time coming, but the end is nigh! Microsoft is ending all support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide operating system updates, known as patches, to correct flaws in the operating system.  The implications are that security vulnerabilities discovered in the XP operating system after April 8, 2014will remain unpatched. 

TSS has been systematically upgrading XP machines over the past year in order to meet the Microsoft deadline.

It is strongly recommended that anyone still using XP on their personal home computer or laptop upgrade to wither Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 before April 8, 2014.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New to Dropbox?

Get Started Sharing with DropBox! Although there are many ways to share files with people, I've recently been asked about Dropbox. You can use Dropbox in any browser, anywhere you have an internet connection. Here's how:

  1. Go to and log in/create an account.
  2. Click Sharing on the left hand side.
  3. Choose New Shared Folder from the right hand side.
    1. If this is your first time, you will be prompted to confirm your identity. An email will be sent to you with a button that says "Verify your email"
    2. Once you verify, click the New Shared Folder button Again.

  1. Choose an existing folder or create a new one. Click Next.

  1. Name your folder. Click Next:

  1. Invite others to share with you. Type in their email addresses and add a message if you want. Then click Share Folder:

  1. Notice the folder you created is now in your Dropbox folder in Windows Explorer:
The people you shared the folder with will also have this Dropbox folder.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Backup Your Files

Where are the majority of your files saved? For SCC students who log into campus computers using their student username (usually firstname.lastname), the default save location directs to their profile. These files are stored on a server, which has backups should anything bad happen to the server. For staff, the primary save location should be on a network drive. These files also live on a server that has periodic backups made.

The one place that files should not be saved is the physical hard drive, commonly referred to as the C-drive or C:/. This disk is not backed up, so if something bad happens to the computer, these files could be completely lost.

My personal experience has taught me to also back up my personal/school files just in case I have to access them outside of my usual environment. For this, there are two options:
1. Save files to an online storage location, like Google Drive, DropBox, Evernote, SkyDrive, etc.

  • Benefit: Access files anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Benefit: Works on a variety of platforms, including phones.
  • Con: Storage limits are typically smaller, and there might be a charge to get a larger storage capacity.
2. Save files to an external drive, like a USB drive or a larger external hard drive.
  • Benefit: You can pick the storage capacity when you buy the device. The storage of USB capacity is constantly increasing and larger storage becomes less expensive.
  • Benefit/Con: The device goes with you where ever you take it. Forgetful types might find this difficult.
  • Con: Things can happen to these physical devices--a magnet could corrupt the files (this can happen if a USB drive is attached to keys!), rain/water could cause damage, and the device could get lost.
Everyone has their personal preference on file management. Just be sure you have a back up system in place when you don't save to a protected server.

Trouble accessing something saved to a campus server? Contact TSS for help!